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SEO News Bytes November 2003

by Shelley Murphy

To Rank or Not to Rank...

Page Rank seems to be the latest "Buzz" these days in terms of Search Engine Optimization. Page Rank has become Google's measuring tool for determining the importance and popularity of a website based on the number of links pointing to it.

If you've tried to contact someone about reciprocal links and you are told "sorry we don't link to anyone whose page rank is below 4", well fellow optimizers, you should not get discouraged. The problem with this growing phenomenon is this; imagine not exchanging a link with someone simply because at that point and time their page rank is not high, but after a while their page rank surpasses yours, and now you won't exchange links with them based on their initial philosophy and beliefs on the weight of page rank. So don't be afraid to get a link partner from a low Page Rank site. It could be a new site entering the Internet world and they are in process of optimizing for the search engines. Look beyond the numbers and think of the potential future benefits of the site.

A Well Optimized Website...

Since Page Rank is only one ingredient of Google's ranking algorithm that has been made public and made visible by Google through the Google Toolbar, Search Engine Optimizers are focusing too much on this bit of information and they are forgetting about the realities of search engine optimization, in laymen's terms, quality of the website. The time is better spent getting your site completely optimized with good page titles, proper use of headings, keyword rich content, easy to follow site navigation and a couple of good directory listings before focusing on Page Rank. Ultimately your goal is to generate traffic and make your website interesting enough so that your visitors have an incentive to come back. Word will get out that you have a great site and people will happily link to it without you even having to ask.

Useful tools...

Using quality SEO software tools can assist you a great deal in optimizing your pages. Choose a software product that allows you to assess your website against competitors' use of keywords, density, prominence and occurrence on their web pages. Adding emphasis to your keywords by taking into consideration, font size, font face type, use of bold, strong and italic font faces will make your keywords standout and add weight it. Not only does the occurrence and weight of your keywords have a major influence on your search engine position, but also for multi keyword phrases how close keywords appear together, known as "keyword proximity" has a factor in your overall ranking.

Page Rank has become a measuring stick...

In a recent article You Don't Need High Pagerank, written by Jeremy Wilson from the Google GooGuide, states, " for many search engine optimizers, Page Rank has become the measuring stick for a site's success. This got me thinking. Are there any successful websites that have low Page Rank? It's easy to surf the web and find low PR sites, but where can I find information that proves a site is successful?

"As a member of the Secrets To Their Success membership site, I receive two case studies each month about successful web entrepreneurs. Each case study is about 30 pages in length and goes over in great detail how people are making a living online. Knowing these were successful sites, I went to every one that was profiled in the last 5 months and made note of each site's Page Rank. Out of the 10 sites profiled, three of them had a Page Rank of 3 or less, finally some evidence that a web site can succeed without high Page Rank!"


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